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Fence Etiquette

Updated: Jun 5

People get fences for a variety of reasons. To keep your pets or children contained in your yard, privacy from nosy neighbors, pool enclosures, or just for the aesthetic a fence can provide. Regardless of the reason, it is good to know about fence etiquette as you start planning your fencing project. We have boiled it down to 3 simple rules for you to follow.

1. Put your best face forward

When installing a fence, the typical rule of thumb is to put the "good" side of your fence facing the outside of your property. For instance, with a wood privacy fence, the face boards would be placed on the outer perimeter of the fence facing your neighbors or the street.

The "Good" (Outer-Facing) Side of a 6' Wood Privacy Fence
The "Good" (Outer-Facing) Side of a 6' Wood Privacy Fence
The Inside of a 6' Wood Privacy Fence
The Inside of a 6' Wood Privacy Fence

The same rule typically applies to chain link. The chain will be hung on the outside perimeter of the posts. Though not as noticeable from one side to the other as the wood fence options, it is neighborly to have the chain facing outward. The hardware is installed so that the bolt heads face the outside. This is done both for aesthetic and security reasons, as it would be much more difficult for someone to tamper with the fence from the outside.

An Outside View of 5' Black Chain Link
An Outside View of 5' Black Chain Link

With ornamental fencing, there is very little difference between the outside and inside of the fence. All sides are the "good" side. With steel ornamental, there are bolt heads that are visible from installation and would be put on the inside of the fence for both aesthetic and security reasons.

2. Stay on your side

It is also very helpful to know exactly where your property lines are. Putting up a fence in your neighbor's yard is typically frowned upon. If you are unable to locate your property lines yourself, you can order a survey to be completed in which they will be able to mark exactly where your property ends. We pull a string between your property markers and use that as a guide to install the fence. We typically recommend stepping inside your property 3-6" depending on the type of fence installed.

It is also polite to talk with your neighbors about installing a fence. Give them a heads up that you will be putting a fence on your property. It may be that your neighbors have the same idea and you could split the cost of the fence with them.

3. Follow the rules

Everyone who is thinking about installing a fence needs to look into the regulations about fencing in your area. Most everyone should check with their county code enforcement to see if there are specifications you need to meet with your fence. If you live within the city limits, you will also need to check with your city code enforcement. Additionally, those who live in a neighborhood with an HOA typically need to check in with their bylaws or covenants to see what sort of fencing requirements your neighborhood has.

For more information about code enforcement, who to contact and what questions to ask, check out our other blog post, "Getting Approval for a Fence".

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